11 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bronx-born Saun & Starr are best known as backup singers for the venerable retro-soul band Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. This time around, with The Dap-Kings as their backing band, they step into the spotlight with Look Closer, putting a gently contemporary spin on classic soul and early funk. They preserve the loose, organic, live-band sound that makes their ancestors so irreplaceable, from mid-period Marvin Gaye (the bright and breezy “Sunshine [You’re Blowin’ My Cool]”) to the sultry, brooding sound of someone like Irma Thomas (“In the Night”).

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bronx-born Saun & Starr are best known as backup singers for the venerable retro-soul band Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. This time around, with The Dap-Kings as their backing band, they step into the spotlight with Look Closer, putting a gently contemporary spin on classic soul and early funk. They preserve the loose, organic, live-band sound that makes their ancestors so irreplaceable, from mid-period Marvin Gaye (the bright and breezy “Sunshine [You’re Blowin’ My Cool]”) to the sultry, brooding sound of someone like Irma Thomas (“In the Night”).

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3:45
3:31
2:52
4:02
3:36
3:43
3:18
2:07
3:14
2:43
4:29

About Saun & Starr

Starr Duncan Lowe and Saundra Williams released their first retro-soul Saun & Starr recordings during the early 2010s, but the singers' accomplished careers date back much earlier. The Bronx natives met as young adults at an open mike night in August 1986, became friends, and subsequently sang background for Nick Jones, a local musician who frequently performed at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. In 1990, Saun competed in the same venue for Showtime at the Apollo and won with her version of Vesta's "Congratulations." The following year, she and Starr joined a Staten Island wedding band fronted by Sharon Jones. The three vocalists were eventually known as the Good 'N Plenty Girls, alternately Triple S Threat.

Throughout the '90s, Saun and Starr performed with numerous acts and were also featured on a number of house tracks. Saun's own "I Want It, I Need It (Real Love)" topped Billboard's dance chart in 1994. A year later, she was featured on "Bring Back My Happiness," a single off Moby's Everything Is Wrong. Bless the Day, a solo album, was released in 1999. Starr's involvements included a 1995 solo single, "Lost in Music," as well as collaborations with the revered gospel-house group Jasper Street Co.

At some point, Saun and Starr lost contact with Jones, but in the late 2000s, Jones sought the singers for a performance with her leading retro-soul band, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. The duo enhanced the band so effectively that they became an integral component and were dubbed the Dapettes. As Saun & Starr, the two became Daptone recording artists in their own right and debuted in 2013 with a 7" single featuring "Hot Shot" and "Gonna Make Time," two songs produced by Dap-Tones bandleader Bosco Mann. Both songs were featured on the 2015 album Look Closer. ~ Andy Kellman

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